One of the best pieces of marketing advice we ever received was this – know what you want your marketing assets to do before you produce it. It is clear on what the intent is for any great marketing effort be it an email, advertising or piece of content. Without knowing what you want your marketing asset to accomplish, it is doubtful you will get there. In this article, we publish our marketing priorities, with their respective weights, in hopes that it will act as a mirror to help you better reflect what your bank wants to get accomplished this year.
Bank marketing ineffectiveness often stems from a marketing piece trying to do too much. A marketing asset should have a designated purpose. Maybe the goal is to build an emotional connection with the brand, maybe the effort is to get an existing customer to use a product such as same-day ACH, or maybe the goal is to bring in a new lead. Whatever the case, effective bank marketers start with the end in mind and work backward.
The most common bank marketing effort is an attempt to bring in new customers. Unfortunately, most new customer acquisition efforts end up being more of a branding exercise with no real focus, call to action or customer understanding. The copy is a word salad of attributes that talks at the potential customer instead of to the potential customer. As a result, the effort isn’t very effective.
Know Before You Show
“Know before you show” is a recent marketing adage that they now teach in graduate school. Run a print or digital advertisement about how great your cash management services are and that is essentially branding. Publish a case study on how your cash management services have saved a local customers tons of money and ask if they would like to learn more, and that is lead generation. Which is better?
It gets more complicated if you are a bank marketer. What happens if both efforts were the same cost, but the branding advertisement resulted in 1,000 favorable impressions while the case study generated five leads? Which would you rather have?
The answer what you would rather have depends on what you are trying to get accomplished. Bank marketing is either a branding exercise, a lead generation exercise or a conversion exercise. All three are distinctly different, and all three require a different approach.
A branding exercise is designed to build name recognition. Marketers refer to this as “softening the beachhead” or laying the groundwork for either lead gen or conversion. If you expect your branding effort to bring in leads, and it doesn’t, then you may not have a marketing problem, but a management problem. A branding effort my leave a positive impression, just not enough of one for potential customers to pick up the phone and call. Understanding your intent and being clear on your desired outcome will both help your bank hone its marketing efforts and set the proper expectations.
Lead Generation (Lead Gen) vs. Conversion – Know The Difference
When it comes to new leads, marketing assets either need to bring customers into the sales process (lead generation) or be designed to move qualified customers along the sales process (conversion). The two efforts vary in what call to action is used, the word choice and the graphics.
Of the two efforts, conversion is the easier and more profitable of the two. This is why, at CenterState, we focus a majority of our efforts in working with existing customers converting them either to utilize their current product or service more or to get them to use other products and services.
Below is a ranked list of our major 2018 functional marketing effort priorities with the corresponding weights. Each weight roughly corresponds to the allocated about of budget and effort. For example, we spend almost three times the resources trying to retain and convert existing customers as we do experimenting with new forms of marketing.
Putting This Into Action
As you can see above, we emphasize on not only generating revenue but improving our marketing process. You will also notice that we make a distinction between the difference of improving the quality of leads and not just the quantity of leads.
If you have never listed your bank’s functional marketing priorities, it can have a material impact on your outcomes. Use the above list to generate your own and then place weights on them to get your whole bank on the same page.
Coming soon, look for our list of key performance indicators which help us measure the effectiveness of each of the above efforts. Knowing where you are going and understanding how to tell when you got there are two of the most effective ways to improve your bank’s marketing efforts.
Submitted by Chris Nichols on February 26, 2018